Faculty Retirement

Tenured faculty members approaching the age of 65 may wish to consider retirement options, which the School is able to tailor to the faculty member’s needs.  Please contact Jane J. Kim, Dean for Academic Affairs, at jkim@hsph.harvard.edu, for more information.

2021 Professor Emeriti Award

Congratulations to Nan M. Laird, the Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of Public Health, Emerita, recipient of the 2021 Professor Emeriti Award. Professor Laird is an internationally recognized biostatistician and pioneer in the development and application of what are now considered to be modern statistical methods for longitudinal data analysis. The Emeritus Faculty Award recognizes individuals who have created a lasting influence on, and/or continued after retirement to make contributions to, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health community or to the field of public health more generally.

Retirement Titles

Research Professor

The title of “research professor” is a transition appointment available to individuals who are eligible for emeritus/a status and who relinquish tenure but wish to remain involved in faculty activities. This title can be held for up to five years after formal retirement. Appointment terms are made in one-year increments. Individuals who request this title in lieu of the regular title of Professor Emerita or Emeritus should write to the department chair annually to state their planned research activities for the coming year. The terms of the research professorships require that an active program of research in retirement be underway. If an individual accepts another full time academic appointment after retirement from Harvard, the appropriate title will be Professor Emeritus/a.

The research professor title supersedes the regular title of Professor Emerita or Professor Emeritus during the period in which it is held, but research professors are eligible for all the privileges listed for Professors Emeriti. In the absence of the annual request for appointment, on specific request from the individual, or at the end of the five-year period, the faculty member’s title will revert to the standard Emeritus/a designation.

(Green Book and https://academic-appointments.fas.harvard.edu/descriptions-professors-emeriti-research-professor)

Professor Emeritus/a

A faculty member assumes the emeritus/a status upon retirement when the faculty member (a) retires from a tenured faculty position and (b) has reached the age of 60 or more. If these two conditions are met, the faculty member’s title automatically becomes Professor of [Department], Emeritus/a upon retirement. If the individual held an endowed chair while active, that title also carries forward with the Emeritus/a designation. This appointment remains active for the professor’s lifetime.


Helpful Resources


Harvard University Benefits Office

Harvard Chan School